A STUDY has revealed that a rule brought in to lower the tackle height in rugby increased the risk of concussion and serious brain injury.

The trial law in the Championship, the second tier of English club rugby, has been criticised in a report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers at Oxford Brookes and four other UK and Australian universities have contributed to the report, which was published on Thursday.

In July 2018, World Rugby announced its tackle-height trial, which was stopped just five months later due to the increase in concussion risk.

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Dr Adam White, lecturer in sport and coaching sciences at Oxford Brookes, led the new report.

He said: “The effects of concussion in rugby have rightly been a major concern within sports medicine for a number of years now. A lot of scientific attention has been focussed on both the short and long-term outcomes of concussions, along with strategies to reduce the risks of traumatic brain injury.

“Our team has looked at the research underpinning this change in the laws and we have concerns over both the ethics of the trial and the safety of the decision to lower the height at which tackles may be made in the game.”